skip to main content

Understanding the key issues parents in Scotland face today

To understand the key issues parents and those in a parenting roles face today, Parenting across Scotland worked with social research agency, The Lines Between, to examine research involving over 4000 parents and carers in Scotland. With the final report launching on 4 June, Policy and Engagement Officer, Arran Goodfellow, explains how report findings will be used to influence change.  

Over the next few years Parenting across Scotland will be working hard to bring the parenting voice to national and local policymakers and to service providers, setting and illuminating the agenda for what needs to change, and catalysing improvements in policy and practice.

With a new staff team recently in post, one of our first objectives was to understand the key issues, challenges and priorities faced by parents and those in a parenting role in Scotland today. Before conducting any of our own work, it was important for us to understand the research that already existed to get an idea of the current landscape.

After a competitive invitation to tender process at the end of last year, we commissioned The Lines Between, a social research agency, to conduct a review of research focusing on the lived experience and needs of parents and those in a parenting role in Scotland in 2023.

Their final report examines research with over 4000 parents and carers across 26 local authorities in Scotland. There are various groups of parent-carers involved, including:

  • single parents,
  • black or minority ethnic parents,
  • disabled parents or parents with disabled children,
  • refugees,
  • parents seeking asylum,
  • carers,
  • parents with care experience,
  • parents who have had a child put into the care system,
  • adoptive parents

Many of the key challenges facing those in parenting roles in the report came as no surprise to us – particularly poverty, financial insecurity, mental health, education and childcare. But they are still shocking nonetheless.

We are heartened to have a diverse range of voices reflected in the report, and are aware that with intersectionality, some families will face even harsher realities than those presented. Our hope is that the final report provides a strong basis of existing knowledge for the third sector to draw on and something that we at Parenting across Scotland can use to help influence change, our work and policy priority areas.

We will be launching the report at a webinar on Tuesday 4 June from 1:30-2:30pm. This will include a presentation from the authors, The Lines Between, who will share the report’s key findings and give attendees a chance to ask any questions. If you are interested in joining, please email

About the Author

Arran Goodfellow is the Policy and Engagement Officer at Parenting across Scotland.

Click here for more

Annual Conference 2024

Join us on 29 & 30 May at Scottish Gas Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh

Click here to book

Participation and engagement work

Find out more about how we embed the inclusion and participation of children and young people in our work

Click here for more